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15 Fintech Companies to Watch in 2020: Part II

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Happy 2020 readers! This is the second post in a two-part blog series titled 15 fintech companies to watch in 2020. Read part one with the first 7 fintech companies to look out for and meet us back here shortly

Here are the last, but certainly not least, 8 of 15 fintech companies to watch out for in 2020—and the ones that we believe are paving the way for an entirely new financial industry in the years to come.

15 fintech companies to watch in 2020: Part II 

8. Hydrogen

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American global fintech company Hydrogen is an acceleration platform from which businesses can deploy fintech apps and solutions. Hydrogen provides its B2B customers with a powerful toolkit in order to build innovative digital financial applications at a fraction of the time and cost. For example, VoPay and Hydrogen have partnered to offer end-to-end open banking payments in 2020 and beyond. Hydrogen is part of a leading group of firms that are helping make fintech 2.0 more open, accessible, and innovative through APIs (Application Programming Interface). 

9. KOHO

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One review of KOHO Financial called it a “marriage of a bank and budgeting app,” which is a helpful way to put it. This Toronto fintech company is a mobile-banking service that has helped more than 120,000 Canadians track their spending. In May 2019, the company raised $42-million in growth capital. Similar to a chequing account, users put money into their KOHO accounts and spend as if it were a credit card (but without the monthly fees). The app tracks their spending, savings, and helps them budget toward goals in real-time. 

10. Envestnet | Yodlee

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The American software company, Envestnet | Yodlee, is a leading data aggregation and data analytics platform for digital financial services. Envestnet | Yodlee as over 25 million users worldwide and over 1,200 financial institutions and fintech partners (including 15 of the top 20 U.S. banks). It supports and powers many financial technology companies and banks, allowing users to access their personal financial accounts from any device, anywhere and transform modern banking. 

11. Borrowell

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In 2019, Borrowell closed a $20 million Series B funding as it reached over one million users. This Canadian fintech company gives its users a free credit report and credit score—no strings attached. Borrowell helps Canadians track their credit score and make better, more informed decisions about their credit (and financial situation). 

“Consumers want to know where they stand with their finances,” Andrew Graham, co-founder and CEO of Borrowell told BetaKit. “We help them do that, with our free tools, product recommendations and credit scores and reports.”

12. Flinks

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Flinks is a Montreal-based data software company that connects to over 250 million financial accounts and provide financial insight and credit risk intelligence. In other words, it provides the necessary link and data between mobile financial apps, financial institutions and consumers who want to modernize their banking. For example, in October 2019, Flinks and VoPay announced an official partnership in order to provide a secure consumer-focused open banking payment solution via VoPay. 

13. Kabbage

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Kabbage Inc. was named on the Forbes Fintech 50 2019 and recently valued at $1.2 billion. This Atlanta-based fintech company saw an opportunity back in 2008 to improve the efficiency and profitability of small business lending. Where banks have a high standard to meet for small business loans, Kabbage’s automated lending platform pulls data from many data sources. This allows Kabbage to automatically evaluate the health of the business, asses the risk, and provide a line of credit where applicable.

14. MX

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MX has been called one of the fastest-growing fintech companies—and one to watch out for in 2020. MX provides financial services data, such as data aggregation, enhancement, and analytics, and experience, such as mobile banking and verification. In June 2019, the company announced a $100 million Series B round of financing, bringing the total equity financing to $175 million. According to Battery Ventures’ (the Series B investor) Michael Brown, “MX is powering some of the top financial institutions in the world and is simply one of the most promising fintech companies we’ve ever seen.” 

15. VoPay

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Last, but most certainly not least on the 15 fintechs to watch in 2020, is VoPay. This Canadian-headquartered fintech company is a leader in digital payment technology innovation. VoPay empowers businesses to provide exceptional financial services and create a customer-focused open banking payment solution. The company made several strategic moves in 2019, including by announcing its partnership with Hydrogen and with Flinks in order to offer seamless banking experiences for users across North America.  

Stay tuned for more growth from us in 2020 and beyond. Learn more about VoPay and our payment solutions

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Fintech

Summarizing the $3.6 trillion opportunity: Fintech: The Fourth Platform

Fintech Platform

Forbes contributor and investor at Bain Capital Ventures, Matthew Harris recently wrote a two-part Forbes article called Fintech: The Fourth Platform. In the articles, he discusses the future of financial technology (or fintech) companies and how a major shift to fintech as ‘the fourth platform’ will create $3.6 trillion of value. That is five times the revenue multiple that the internet, cloud, and mobile platforms produced altogether upon startup at just under $3 trillion. 

In other words, Harris sees fintech as a huge opportunity. 

Here’s why we’re listening: Harris bet on fintech two decades ago, back when Venture Capital investment in financial services was non-existent. Today, these financial technology companies represent 14% of venture business. In 2018 alone, fintech startups raised nearly $40 billion. Bain Capital Ventures has invested over $700 million in fintech companies over the past seven years—and they’re turning their attention to companies that use fintech embedded in their business models and tech stacks, rather than as a primary business model

Let’s unpack and summarize the opportunity that Harris presented in Fintech: The Fourth Platform.

Fintech and our current technology stack

Harris first defines fintech as “taking a well-known financial product” and “building software to make it digitally accessible as well as easier and more elegant to buy and use.” However, as with earlier disruptors (and our current technology stack) the internet, cloud, and mobile, fintech has the potential to develop beyond its original use-cases and become embedded in everyday business and life. 

He describes fintech’s potential in relation to a trend: “the internet comes along and people rebuild old stuff on it. Then they build brand new stuff with connectivity as a key ingredient.” The internet first developed online versions of businesses and then transitioned to create new functionality and connectivity. The cloud began by hosting accessible software and transitioning to create SaaS products, new applications, and cloud intelligence. The third member of the tech stack, mobile, transitioned from small desktop versions of websites to create entirely new mobile-centric apps like social media, video, maps, and photos. 

Harris argues that fintech is up next. 

Embedding financial services into business models and technology

Harris explains that financial functionality is quickly becoming a native component of both the technology stack (internet, cloud, mobile) and as a business model. For example, financial functions such as payments and lending have embedded themselves into the tech stacks of many businesses today. 

Take Uber, for example. The entire payment transaction takes place within Uber’s software application, making it a smooth and user-friendly experience. As Harris puts it, “having these financial functions integrated with software enables new functionality, leveraging the persistent connection to move beyond transactions to relationships.” 

Having embedded financial services inside a business opens a world of opportunity for making data-driven, smart decisions that will benefit the end-user and the business. It also reduces the risk of payment issues and could lead to increased opportunities to sell, market, and grow.

The benefits of integrating digital payments 

Harris uses Shopify as a great example of a successful ($36 billion) software company that gets most of its revenue from payments. Shopify basically provides highly functioning, integrated shopping cart software to small businesses and e-commerce startups. 

But the trend takes place beyond technology companies. Eight percent of payment card volume in the U.S., Harris states, has moved to an integrated payment, where payments are managed through third-party software companies, such as our own. That number is growing quickly. 

Analysts predict that 40% of the payments industry will move to an embedded model. Harris explains that most financial innovation begins with the evolution of payments. In other words, the fourth platform shift to fintech is still in its infancy but has much potential. 

As a fintech company that digitizes direct payments, VoPay is a proud contributor to advancing fintech to be a fourth layer of the technology stack and of business models cross-industry. Our payment software connects digital enterprises to banking systems to streamline payments and boost experience into the future. 

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